Day OneMarch 1, 2011
Learning French

French Recovery Efforts Underway

I look forward to reviving some dead language skills.

I was very excited about Day 1 of French when I woke up. For one thing, French will be like a relaxing beach vacation after the rigors of Japanese! (Though actually, I am not all that big on relaxing beach vacations.) …

March 3, 2011 | French

Language Study Makes Air Travel Fun

I take my French to Kalamazoo.

I have returned to doing Pimsleur lessons while running. With the easier languages, I find it possible. With harder languages, it is often too hard; I run out of air and brain fuel. Tiny iPod Nano Holds Large Quantity of…

March 5, 2011 | French

Not Fond of the International Phonetic Alphabet

Certain things I just don't like to memorize.

I got back late last night from Michigan, where I taught a grammar class yesterday at a Kalamazoo company. I love teaching grammar classes for adults. My Seatmates on the Flight Home Last Night People care about grammar, I think,…

March 7, 2011 | French

Another Pimsleur Overdose

I race, study grammar, and do Pimsleur lessons to the point of brain damage.

Yesterday I ran the first points race of the 2011 New York Road Runners season in Washington Heights. “Points race” means it counts towards the year-long competition among the local running teams. It was raining and hilly, but since I kind…

March 10, 2011 | French

Flashcards Are Awesome

I am cramming.

Regarding the title of this entry: I don’t normally say “awesome.” I just felt like it. I have been doing flashcards for the past couple of days. I love flashcards. There are 1,000 study cards in this SparkNotes box, and…

March 13, 2011 | French

Language Changes

French is no longer the same language it was when I first studied it.

Special note: I am posting this entry late, for which I offer my apologies. In the past few days I have done 13 more Pimsleur lessons. Some of them I did while running in Central Park (I would be able to…

March 14, 2011 | French

My French Accent Pains Me


I don’t like my French accent. It used to be better, and I know it will be better again soon, but right now it is hurting my ears. Pimsleur is helping; I just wish it would help faster. To…

March 18, 2011 | French

The Most Romantic Romance Language Is…

...not French, in my opinion.

It was an unseasonably warm day today (low sixties). Everywhere I went I crossed paths with St. Patrick’s Day celebrants. Green People Near Macy’s A lot of people in New York (and elsewhere) hate St. Patrick’s Day,…

March 21, 2011 | French

Bathroom Vocabulary

I am afraid to ask where the bathroom is.

My days have been filled with French Pimsleur lessons, French grammar exercises, and French vocabulary drills. I am trying to do as much skills rejuvenation as I can, as fast as I can, before I unleash my semi-French-speaking self on…

March 23, 2011 | French

My Husband Has a Great Idea (I Think)

It may really help my French.

Yesterday I did 10 half-hour Pimsleur lessons in one day. Doing 10 Pimsleur lessons in one day is very disorienting; I am not sure I would recommend it. But I am in any case now done with Pimsleur. A Famous French Restaurant…